Google denies updates are killing the Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit Charge 5 - Image of a person wearing a Fitbit with an emoji

Owners of the popular fitness tracker say their devices have stopped working after updating.

The Fitbit Charge 5 is a highly popular fitness tracker, but owners have been complaining that their gadgets have stopped working properly – or stopped working entirely – after software updates.

Google has been providing the updates but says those are not the cause of the problem.

Owners of the Fitbit Charge 5 started complaining about the dying fitness trackers following software updates last summer. At that time, the most common complaint was that battery life was dramatically shortened, running out of juice after a few hours, when the device had previously lasted around a week without needing to be recharged.  That said, others said that their devices were bricked, that is, became entirely inoperable, after the device ran out of charge, becoming impossible to recharge.

Fitbit Charge 5 - Image of Person touching Fitbit device screen with battery in background

“We’re aware that a small number of Charge 5 users are experiencing problems with their devices. We’re currently investigating and will update users when we’ve identified the issue,” said a statement from Google last summer. “In the meantime, users should contact Fitbit Customer Service at to help troubleshoot the issue.”

Affected users who contacted support were often offered new device discounts, not Fitbit Charge 5 replacements

Though complaints about the issue started fading away for the rest of the year, an update first released in December appears to have brought the problem back into the spotlight. Users who updated their Devices in December and January have started complaining of problems with their devices or bricked fitness trackers following the update.

Google continues to say that the software updates are not causing the issue but did not identify the actual problem or how fitness tracker owners can repair it.  That said, as of a few weeks ago, users of the Fitbit Charge 5 who did not update their devices have reported that the option to do so has been removed from their app.

As of the writing of this article, the only solution the company has offered to owners of the fitness tracker is to purchase a new one.  While some customers were offered a discount, others were not. 

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